It’s funny how when we hear “blink and you’ll miss it”, we always tend to think about our kids growing up and moving on. I remember everyone telling me that someday I’ll miss when they were little. While I do have moments of how sweet some of those times are, I realize I am actually enjoying them much more now, that they are getting bigger. I love that I can hug them, and it’s like this entire person in my arms. I love that instead trying to manage just getting through every day, I am able to see the kind of people they are turning into. Don’t get me wrong, it’s so true about “bigger kids, bigger problems ” and they bring on the problems alright, but I find I prefer it to when they were little, when it was so frantic and chaotic.
Today, I was cleaning out my little studio upstairs we put in a few years ago with bookshelf dividers (to repurpose the space,), and suddenly, I found myself thinking about “the good old days.” As I sorted through jewelry pieces and clay tools, I was brought back to the old days when blogging was new, I was just discovering my creative side, I was making journals and picture frames. I had just opened the door on my Etsy shop and launched my first seasonal line and then my second. It was like dipping my toes in the water. It made me realize that the “blink and you’ll miss it” applies to more than just our family, it also applies to our life journey and work. Suddenly,11 years of making,creating,discovering,wholesaling, doing markets and shows, writing for magazines, art licensing, product design, and retailing has gone by in a flash. And sometimes, I don’t actually know how it all happened, and how I got here.
Here I am, somewhere in the beginning again, but somewhere I never thought I would be, from that woolly dream that swirled around the back of my head as a whisper a long time ago. After years of gathering practical experience, and having God prepare me for this adventure, I sometimes can’t believe that I co-own a retail store and Makery,and all of the other things I’ve been able to do. I have to admit, after going through all of my old supplies, it feels a little bittersweet, but in a good way, almost like looking at photos.
Back when it all started almost 11 years ago, there was such an excitement and newness. Social media was more about sharing and encouragement, and not so much about competition and perfection. I know that I have learned some really valuable things about marketing and the techy stuff, a school’s worth,but it kind of makes me miss when I was a little less wise, and a little more green. I also remember comparing myself to what everyone else was doing, and really feeling lost as to the direction I was going in. Like I said, bittersweet,but a good reminder.
I look at my first headshot, the young mom who started by painting on mason jars, who just wanted to start somewhere, and compare it to a most recent photo and realize there’s a lot of stuff that has happened in between those two people( More than a few extra laugh lines, and bifocals.).
It was such a different time,and so much has happened along the way. It makes me realize now we have to really to savor the season we are in, and not push too hard to rush to the next thing, and believe me, it’s hard not to. We are in this amazing place of growth, and discovery, and opportunity. We get to touch and interact with so many amazing people. Everyday we are learning things we did right… and things we really did wrong. There is something that pops up, brand new, on the learning curve, that calls for reassessment. There are things we’ve forgotten, and opportunities we’ve missed,mistakes made, lessons learned, and grace given. It makes me realize, we really need to sit in this place of sweetness sometimes, and not treat it like limbo, but treat it like gathering. Gathering energy for the next thing, gathering knowledge, gathering energy, and letting God do his thing. Looking back over the last 11 years, I would say, if you’re in one of those places, sometimes enjoying that moment is the best thing you can do. Sit in that moment, let it be, listen to it, remember it. It’s almost like if we rush ahead, we turn the marathon into a sprint, and lose the best part of the journey,because the way things change, if we blink-we’ll miss it.